Idealism, ego, and narcissism are often ingredients constructing the not-so-humble OS developer. A short study of Linus Torvalds' public comments is one of the recommended curriculum when attempting to divine the true motivations of someone who would decide to defenestrate other extensively used, widely documented, and extremely inexpensive Operating Systems in favor of reinventing the wheel (we need more spokes in userspace!).
All that aside, I realize the importance of a project as large as this to define some rationale for its existence, and some vision for its future.
To start, perhaps a riddle:
- What is black and blue, but never true?
- What is red and green, but cannot be seen?
- What is orange and yellow, but not so mellow?
I don't actually have an answer to that one, so good luck.
There is a question I do have an answer to, though:
What is Redox?
Redox is an operating system.
Redox is written mostly in Rust, with a few x86 assembler files in the bootloader and protected mode initialization. There is inline assembly to deal with system calls, port access, and virtual memory, but it is very succinct.
Redox embraces Unix philosophy, where many interfaces are accessible in the virtual filesystem, the binary interface is lightweight and portable, and text files are used for configuration.
Redox prioritizes the User. Safety is the most important innovation of Rust, and Redox is attempting to use that innovation to provide a more stable and secure experience without compromising user experience. Programs and drivers are sandboxed, and the user is left in the highest privilege position.